2008 Frank Award: Chef Simon Smotkowicz

Chef Simon Smotkowicz

Executive chef, Shaw Conference Centre & President, Canadian Culinary Federation Edmonton for The High School Culinary Challenge.

The High School Culinary Challenge, which encourages high school students to pursue careers in the culinary arts, is the brainchild of chef Simon Smotkowicz.

“We hope this unique, challenging, hands-on competition will really stir high school students to seriously consider the many creative opportunities in our demanding profession,” says Smotkowicz.

Each participating high school (13 schools) entered a three-student team to create a three-course meal for six, in three hours. The top three student teams are honoured at an awards lunch on March 4 at the Shaw Conference Centre.

All 39 competitors are eligible for one of two scholarships for post-secondary tuition, uniforms, books and knives and a three-year apprenticeship with one of Edmonton’s better restaurants.

Chef Simon Smotkowicz is no stranger to both competition and culinary awards. He has been a member and manager of winning teams (Team Alberta and Team Canada, world champions in 1992,1997 and 2002) at the Culinary Olympics.

We salute him for his dedication, vision and sense of community.

The Frank Award honours the person, place or thing that has most contributed to culinary life in Edmonton in the past year: farmer, rancher, chef, restaurateur, market/grocer, scientist, food or dish.

The award is named for Frank Spinelli, who built a legacy in the grocery business, now carried on by his daughter Teresa. We applaud his vision, tenacity, perseverance and sense of community and look for these qualities in Frank Award nominees.